Petrol and diesel drivers demand Chancellor extends fuel duty freeze amid anti-motorist price hike

Jeremy Hunt and fuel pumps

The Chancellor will unveil the Autumn Budget next week

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 16/11/2023

- 12:53

Updated: 07/02/2024

- 15:15

The fuel duty freeze was introduced in 2022 by Rishi Sunak

Drivers are overwhelmingly calling on the Government to prioritise the freeze on fuel duty ahead of the much-anticipated Autumn Statement next week.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will lay out the Government’s plans for the rest of the fiscal year in the Budget on November 22.

Millions of drivers up and down the country will be looking at the MP for South West Surrey to take steps to ensure drivers are protected from rising costs.

This comes after Transport Secretary Mark Harper pledged to remove any anti-motorist driving laws to ensure people have an easier life on the road.

WATCH NOW: Petrol and diesel drivers react to expensive fuel prices 

New research has shown that three in four drivers think it’s important that the Chancellor sticks to the freeze on fuel duty, which was first introduced in 2022.

The then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the rate of fuel duty would be cut by 5p per litre in response to rising global oil prices and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, there have been calls for the Chancellor to raise the level of fuel duty to bring in additional revenue for the Government, which would make it the first rise in more than a decade.

Around 57 per cent of people said the cost of petrol and diesel factors into their decision about which car they choose to buy next.

carwow’s Managing Editor, Paul Barker, said: “This is an important Autumn Statement for many reasons, and the views of motorists deserve the Chancellor’s attention.

“Fuel duty, Clean Air Zones and the ban on new petrol and diesel cars are all potential vote winners - and losers - ahead of the general election next year.

“This is an opportunity for the Chancellor to reassure motorists that there won't be more chopping and changing around these critical issues, which we know impact decisions over car buying and selling.”

The price of petrol and diesel remains high for drivers, with the Competition and Markets Authority warning retailers about price-gouging this week.

According to RAC Fuel Watch, petrol drivers are paying around 152.47p per litre on average, while diesel drivers are facing costs nearing £1.60 per litre.

Although supermarkets are traditionally cheaper, petrol drivers are saving just over three pence. Those with diesel engines would save less than two pence compared to other retailers.

Paul Barker highlighted how some reports suggest that Jeremy Hunt is under pressure to raise the rate of fuel duty.

He said this would be a deeply unpopular move given the cost of living crisis in addition to the quickly rising cost of motoring.

The expert continued, saying: “If the duty were to be raised by 5p which was the amount it was cut by in March 2022, it means that duty will rise to 58p a litre for petrol and diesel.

“However, VAT is also levied on fuel duty, compounding any rise in the tax.”


Petrol station

Drivers are still paying over the odds for fuel


The level of fuel duty is currently 52.95p per litre for petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol, down from 57.95p if the freeze were to be abandoned.

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